On 16 September, 2008, the Government of the United States (US), through the US Agency for International Development (USAID), signed a one-year grant agreement for $243,542 with the East, Central and Southern Africa Health Community (ECSA-HC) at the ECSA-HC headquarters in Arusha, Tanzania. ECSA-HC will use this funding for the benefit of its member countries to work on maternal and child health, reproductive health and health financing and governance activities. The agreement was signed by Mr. Lawrence Meserve, Deputy Director USAID/East Africa and Dr. Steven Shongwe, Director General, ECSA –HC Secretariat. USAID/East Africa (EA) has provided more than $2 million dollars to ECSA-HC in the last three years.
Among the planned activities, the new grant will convene a forum to develop policies and guidelines as well as training in management of severe bleeding in pregnancy; provide funds to design an obstetric fistula curriculum for medical and nursing pre-service education; support a regional forum on food fortification and continue training of laboratory technicians who test fortified food; and help governments improve their tracking of health care spending. USAID/East Africa (EA) has funded ECSA-HC since 1998.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Lawrence Meserve, the Deputy Director of USAID/EA observed that: “The signing of this agreement reaffirms the strong commitment of USAID/EA to support the achievement of a healthier population in the East and Central Africa region through African leadership.” Expressing gratitude towards the continued partnership between USAID and ECSA-HC, the Director General, ECSA-HC, Dr. Shongwe, thanked the US government and said: “This agreement will go a long way in strengthening the implementation of ECSA-HC activities in support of public health in the region.”
USAID/EA Regional Health and HIV/AIDS program works with 16 countries in the Eastern and Central Africa Region through African regional partners to support stronger health policies and regional training approaches. The program also supports HIV/AIDS prevention, care and support along transportation corridors throughout the region.